Trump punished Palestine for Israel

10.09.2018

The US is removing another brick from the already almost destroyed building of the peace process in the Middle East. The White House decided to close the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization - the de facto embassy of Palestine in the United States. A statement was made by the State Department spokesman Heather Nauert.

A high-ranking Palestinian politician, Saeb Erekat, who has been representing Ramallah for many years in negotiations with Tel Aviv, believes that the decision of the White House is designed to "hide the crimes of Israel."

The fact is that Palestine intends to file an action with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Israel for the murder of a peaceful Palestinian population. During the May exacerbation in the Gaza Strip, connected with the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, nearly a hundred Palestinians were killed. Washington intends to prevent legal proceedings against Israel. Adviser to the US President for National Security John Bolton believes that the ICC does not have the right to limit Israel's desire to guarantee its security, even if it leads to the death of civilians.

According to Erekat, Washington is ready to impose sanctions against ICC judges investigating Israel, to prohibit them and prosecutors from entering the US and freeze their American accounts.

The ICC recognized Palestine as a state in 2015 and at the same time gave a "green light" to the investigation of war crimes committed by the Israeli security forces since June 13, 2014. In the summer of the same year, during the military operations of Israel against the Hamas movement in Gaza, nearly 2,000 Palestinians were killed.

Trump's administration continues to systematically stifle the creation of a Palestinian state. In early September, the White House decided to end assistance to Palestinian refugees through the UN's Middle East Agency. May 14 Trump, in spite of criticism of the EU, Russia and the rest of the world, recognized the whole of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Although, according to international agreements, the eastern part of the city should become the capital of Palestine.

It is worth noting that the situation is complicated not only by the pressure of the United States and Israel, but by intra-Palestinian and inter-Arab disagreements. Two forces are fighting for influence in Palestine: the Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine, ruling on the West Bank and Hamas. On the other hand, the Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt are very modest in their behavior, who in the name of the struggle with Iran maintain unofficially allied relations with Tel Aviv and officially with Washington.

In the current situation, there are only two solutions. Either the Palestinians negotiate on the terms of Israel and abandon Jerusalem. Either there should be a powerful international pressure on the US and Israel with the possible introduction of sanctions against them. This would probably be a more effective, but at the same time, most difficult tool for peace.